The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of the UK has banned an in-app ad published by Rank Digital Gaming (Alderney) Ltd for breaching the CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 16.1, 16.3, 16.3.1, and 16.3.4, all of which refer to gambling.
The Ad Suggested That Gambling Will Solve Financial Concerns
Rank’s in-app ad featured Wolf Gold, a mobile casino game, and it was launched on May 5, 2022. It had images of a bonus wheel and three characters – a wolf’s head and two females.
Additionally, the ad had an accompanying text, which featured the following words – “Everyone wants to solve theirs [sic] financial problems” and then, the ad went on to say that by downloading the app, people will be able to win money and pay off loans, buy a house and a car.
ASA concluded that the ad promotes gambling as a way to solve multiple financial problems and hence, it is socially irresponsible and has to be taken down. In response, Rank stated that it wasn’t included in the process of development and publishing of the ad.
According to the operator, the ad was created by WakeApp, an affiliate organization. Moreover, Rank noted that it wasn’t even aware of the ad until the complaint arrived at its front desk. As a result, Rank stated that its partnership with WakeUp has been terminated.
To make things even more bizarre, the ad featured a welcome bonus of £400 ($487), which Rank stated that the bonus wouldn’t even work. The reason why is that the app only allowed a default welcome bonus to be received and the sum was far lower than the one portrayed in the ad.
UK’s Gambling Industry Is Currently in a Complicated Situation
The gambling industry in the UK is currently in a very complicated situation and that is why ASA has to make sure that the standards are adhered to, at least in terms of advertising. The government has been trying to complete the review of the Gambling Act but has postponed the process on several occasions.
Gambling Act’s white paper was supposed to be published in June, but it was postponed, and back then, Nigel Huddleston, DCMS parliamentary secretary, did not provide any timeline for its publication.
Things got worse at the start of July after Chris Philp, the DCMS minister for tech and digital and a man that was involved in the review process, decided to hand in his resignation. Philp’s resignation letter noted that the review of the Gambling Act is in PM’s office and all the PM has to do is sign it.
A recent rumor stated that the Gambling Act review included an increase in the cap on the number of gaming machines at casinos. However, The Times had a peek into the white paper and concluded that half of the casinos in the UK will miss out on this cap as they are too small. According to the Times, 70 of the 121 casinos in the country will not be able to reap the benefits of the expansion.